DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – The South Florida community has shown an outpouring of support for Chad Sanford, the 13-year-old student who recently endured a homophobic attack in Broward County.
The video of the bullying incident went viral and the outrage spread. Even Tina Knowles, Beyonce’s mother, shared it with a message: “Stop the Hate!”
Being the target of bullies at Deerfield Beach Middle School was a traumatic experience. Also, it wasn’t easy to become the subject of so much attention. There was an impulse to hide, but Chad decided to talk publicly about his experience anyway.
“It’s just sad because I wanted to do a suicide,” Chad said. “I didn’t even want to live anymore because I felt like, ‘You’re not OK with my sexuality. Why should I be around for you to like me?’”
Chad is not alone in his pain. About 40% of LGBTQ said they have seriously considered suicide, according to the 2020 Trevor Project Survey. Chad said the outpouring of support meant a lot to him.
“It made me feel like I am with somebody ... It made me feel like, ‘You are not going to be fighting this battle by yourself.’ It just made me feel so great,” Chad said.
Chad is inspiring more of it. Local 10 News has joined the movement to help Chad and other students who are experiencing similar challenges. The team raising funds for scholarships includes local nonprofits. There is also a loving effort to fill Chad with loving notes of encouragement.
The Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins have also come across the story, so this doesn’t end here. Chad was a VIP guest at the Heat’s playoff game Saturday and won Justin Bieber concert tickets.
Local 10 News Anchor Louis Aguirre had a message for Chad during Friday’s 6 p.m. news: “Chad, we see you. We love you. And trust me ... it gets better. It gets better. It really does. ... Love is stronger than hate. Love will always overpower hate 100% of the time.”
Cards for Chad: How to help
If you would like to participate in the cause, please click here to make a donation to the Local 10 Fund. (Don’t worry if the page still shows our Big Bus Toy Express logo, the money will be directed to the Local 10 Fund.)
We have also received many inquiries on how you can send a note to Chad.
Cards for Chad can be mailed to:
Equality Florida, Broward County
2302 NE 7th Ave.
Wilton Manors, FL 33305
Here is an image you can share on social media: